Cliff Palace is probably the best known of North American ruins. This was our third or fourth visit.
Click on any of the images
for a larger version.
The image below is from a photograph looking back up at the tour waiting area overlook.
Cliff Palace is the largest cliff dwelling in North America. The Ancient Pueblo structure is located in Mesa Verde National Park, in the southwest corner of…Colorado, home to the Ancestral Puebloans people. (1)
(1) from Wikipedia
Commentary and images from the road
image and information from September 13, 2009
September 13, 2009 Mesa Verde National Park
Visits to the ruin are only by ranger guided tours. The view below is from the tour waiting area overlook.
The next photo was taken from about the same location as the people on the right in the image above:
Tree ring dating indicates that construction and refurbishing of Cliff Palace was continuous from c. AD 1190 through c. 1260, although the major portion of the building was done within a twenty-year time span. Cliff Palace was abandoned by 1300, and while debate remains as to the causes of this, some believe a series of mega-droughts interrupting food production systems is the main cause. (1)